Cyber Report #968

E-dition No. 968 • Thursday, September 7, 2017

Editor: Bob Johnson (


Riviera Lanes Will Host 2018 PBA ‘TOC’


The Professional Bowlers Association will return to historic AMF Riviera Lanes in suburban Akron, Ohio, for the 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions, Feb. 5-11, as part of the organization’s 60th anniversary celebration, PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark has announced.


Riviera Lanes, the home of PBA’s TOC from 1966 through 1994, provided the setting for many of the most memorable tournaments in PBA history. The 40-lane center in Fairlawn, Ohio, hosted the Tournament of Champions for 28 years, with Norm Duke winning Riviera’s final event.


Akron also was the PBA’s headquarters city from its founding in 1958 through 2000.


“As the PBA makes plans to celebrate its 60th anniversary, returning to one of the most famous settings for PBA competition was more than a goal. It was a dream come true,” Clark said. “We greatly appreciate Bowlmor AMF’s support in making our return to Riviera Lanes possible.”


Among the expected field of 96 PBA champions will be defending champion E.J. Tackett, who was not quite 2 years old when Riviera last hosted the TOC. He will be among the national tour title-holders who will have first option to enter the event. PBA50 and regional winners will be given the opportunity to fill any vacancies. Entry details will be announced later.


“We are thrilled to be hosting the 2018 Tournament of Champions at our iconic AMF Riviera Lanes,” said Colie Edison, Chief Customer Officer for Bowlmor AMF, the owner of the center. “It is an honor to be a part of this historic event, and we look forward to seeing it played out at the venue where the Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions began.”


The first PBA Tournament of Champions was held in Indianapolis in 1962, but was discontinued until 1965 when it returned as the Firestone PBA Tournament of Champions during the first year of PBA’s long-running “Pro Bowlers Tour” series on ABC-TV. The 1965 event was the first nationally televised sports event to include a corporate sponsor as part of its title, launching what has since become a multi-billion-dollar sports marketing industry.


The 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 11, with the live ESPN stepladder finals. Additional information about the event will be announced soon.



PBA to Stage Special 60th Anniversary Classic


Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, the only bowling center that has hosted every PBA major championship tournament over the years, has been selected as the site for a new event that will celebrate the organization’s 60-year history: the GoBowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic.


The tournament, which will be open to all PBA members, will be held between Tuesday, Feb. 13, and Sunday, Feb. 18, when ESPN will televise the stepladder finals live at 1 p.m. Eastern. As part of the festive week, the PBA’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner will include its 2018 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Marriott North in Indianapolis.


The GoBowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic is part of the “Big February” portion of the 2018 GoBowling! PBA Tour schedule that includes two major events concluding with live coverage on ESPN: the PBA Tournament of Champions in Fairlawn, Ohio, and the Barbasol PBA Players Championship at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl in Columbus, Ohio (Feb. 21-25).


February’s ESPN schedule also will include a special Super Bowl Sunday presentation, the CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational, and the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, to be held in conjunction with the Players Championship in Columbus.


“Woodland Bowl has been the scene of many of the PBA’s most historic moments,” said the PBA’s Tom Clark. “As we began planning for our 60th anniversary celebration, we wanted to bring it to a location that has been important to the PBA throughout its 60-year history.”


Woodland Bowl is the only bowling center to host every PBA major championship, at one time or another. The 70-lane center on Indianapolis’s north side has hosted the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA Touring Players Championship, U.S. Open, USBC Masters and PBA World Championship.


“We are honored at Royal Pin Entertainment to have our Woodland location chosen to host this very meaningful event,” said Jim Doty, Royal Pin Entertainment’s General Manager. “Our long association with the Professional Bowlers Association has been a labor of love that brings back memories of past events that include many hall of fame members who have competed at our Woodland Bowl location. We sincerely thank the PBA for honoring us to serve as the host center for the GoBowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic.”



EBI Names Wodka Global Marketing Manager


Ebonite International has named Dave Wodka as the company’s new Global Marketing Manager.


Wodka has been in the bowling business nearly all of his professional life. His bowling resumé includes:


  • PBA member since 1991


  • One PBA national title (1999 Greater Detroit Open)


  • Twenty-one PBA Regional titles


  • Two-time PBA Regional Player of the Year (2003 West Region and 2014 Northwest Region)


  • Member of two Halls of Fame (Southern Nevada USBC and Nevada State)


  • Seven top-10 finishes in USBC Open Championships


His bowling industry experience includes:


  • Working for a bowling distributor, 1996-99


  • South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Nev., 2011-12


  • General Manager of a 32-lane center


  • EBI Staff member (1993 to the present)


  • EBI District Sales Manager (2001-07 and 2012-present)


According to the company, Wodka has done a great job in helping to drive sales and brand exposure in the marketplace, and within his new role, he will work closely with the EBI team to drive the brands of EBI worldwide.


Wodka will be relocating to EBI’s worldwide headquarters in Hopkinsville, Ky. He will report directly to CEO Randy Schickert, and work closely with Rob Gotchall, Danny Vowell and Mike Snellbaker.


Taking over for Wodka as EBI’s District Sales Manager for Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana will be Brad Bridges, who has been the company’s Demo Leader in that territory for the past three years.


Bridges has been working part-time in a pro shop for 17 years and has been a member of the Track Regional Staff for three years. He has been actively conducting demos and working trade shows and seminars for EBI for several years.


“Bridges makes a great addition to our DSM team,” said Mike Judy, EBI’s North American Sales Manager, to whom Bridges will report. “He has an extremely strong work ethic and is already very knowledgeable about the territory.”



Main Event Helps With Hurricane Harvey Relief


Main Event Entertainment, which owns and operates five centers in and around Houston, mobilized its other 33 centers over the Labor Day weekend to collect supplies essential to the Hurricane Harvey recovery effort.


The 33 Main Event centers outside the affected areas served as collection points for non-monetary donations. Relief agencies had specifically requested socks, pillows, pillow cases, sheets, blankets, towels and wash cloths.


All items were then delivered to a leading relief agency in each market, including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Trusted World.


“Hurricane Harvey has affected hundreds of our Main Event team members and a countless number of our guests, so we are trying to do as much as possible to help them in their time of need,” said Becky Johnson, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer of Main Event Entertainment.


BJI Editor Gianmarc Manzione has been in contact with other members of the bowling family in the hurricane zone, and you can read his updated report here:



Pins Will Fall Again at Fort Monmouth Center


Like other shuttered military bases around the country, Fort Monmouth in New Jersey is being redeveloped by a state agency.


But unlike at other facilities, the base bowling center will be part of the redevelopment, thanks to Keith Dougherty, who has formed a limited liability company called Fort Monmouth BEC.


Dougherty, who also owns Circle Bowl and Entertainment in Roxbury, N.J., reportedly will purchase the bowling center for $1.1 million, and then lease the 2.7-acre property on which it sits for $1 per year.


Plans call for the “new” center to include 20 lanes, an arcade, a two-level laser tag arena, a full kitchen, a sports bar and an outdoor beer garden.


Fort Monmouth was one of the bases selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005, and after personnel and equipment were moved to other bases, it officially closed on Sept. 15, 2011. It was at Fort Monmouth where Julius Rosenberg worked as a radar inspector and was accused and convicted of stealing proximity fuze plans and selling them to the Soviet Union.



Business Briefs…



  • A new Schulman’s Movie Bowl Grille is coming to Denison, Texas. A fall 2018 opening is planned for the 66,000-sq.-ft. facility, which will include 24 bowling lanes; nine all-digital, dine-in movie theaters with reclining seats; a 6,000-sq.-ft. interactive arcade; a multi-level, high-definition laser tag center, and a full-service restaurant. Schulman’s MBG centers currently are in operation in the Texas cities of Corsicana and Bay City. A story on the Schulman family’s Film Alley concept in Weatherford, Texas, was featured in the March issue of BJI.



  • The Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago soon will be home to a craft cocktail bar called The Pink Squirrel. The bar will feature a 1960s supper club theme and retro drinks that fit the theme. Also featured will be ice cream cocktails, a walk-up window serving non-alcoholic ice cream drinks, and two bowling lanes. In a statement, co-owner Dustin Drankiewicz, a native of Milwaukee, said, “I grew up around 50- to 100-year-old bowling alleys and taverns like Holler House, Bob-E-Lanes and Koz’s Mini Bowling.”



Other News You Can Use…


  • For the third time in her career, Shannon O’Keefe found herself in tears on the television set of a major bowling championship, but this time it was as the winner of the 2017 Smithfield Professional Women’s Bowling Association Tour Championship, the first major title of her career. The 38-year-old right-hander struck six times in the first seven frames of the title match against Kelly Kulick on Wednesday, and claimed her sixth PWBA Tour title by a 222-203 margin. The win brought O’Keefe $20,000, while Kulick took home $10,000 as the runner-up. Full report:



* CONTACT: Please send business news, event information, etc. to Bob Johnson at For breaking business news, visit or, and “Like” Bowling Center Management and Bowlers Journal International on Facebook. BJI Cyber Reports are now archived at

Smithfield PWBA Tour Championship.

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